License for ‘sabung ayam’ halted as State govt puts ban on cockfighting this Gawai

File photo depicting the sport of cockfighting, known locally as 'sabung ayam'. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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By Karen Bong

BINTULU, May 19: The issuance of licenses for ‘sabung ayam’ (cockfighting) has been halted in Sarawak as the State government has put a ban on the traditional social event in the lead up to the Gawai celebrations, which is less than two weeks away.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in announcing this said that he has instructed the State Secretary and Resident Offices to not issue licenses for cockfighting.


“I sincerely apologise to the (Dayak) community. We ask that people continue to be vigilant during this year’s Gawai celebrations.

“This is up to us because there will be more Gawai celebrations in the years ahead.

“If people are not careful, this could be the last Gawai for them,” he said in urging people not to take Covid-19 lightly.

Abang Johari highlighted this in a press conference during his working visit to assess the Covid-19 situation here today.

Noting that the figure of Covid-19 cases in Bintulu has been worrying for the past two months, he however said that additional measures taken by State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and Bintulu DMC has allowed Bintulu to have slight control on further outbreak in the district.

“Today, it was reported that there are only 44 new Covid-19 positive cases in Bintulu. This is because of interventions with enforcement on tightened standard operating procedures (SOP) and enhanced restrictions in targeted areas.

“It appears that the number of Covid-19 cases has been brought down and as such, the measures will continue to be implemented,” he added.

Abang Johari said that several measures will be implemented for the coming Gawai celebrations, considering that this past Hari Raya Adilfitri celebration which was limited to one day has been monitored quite well with less activities that would worsen the situation in the State, especially in Bintulu.

“As such, I seek the collaboration from community leaders and village chiefs for the coming Gawai celebrations to continue enforcing and ensuring compliance to SOP for festive celebrations so as to prevent a surge in cases.

“Let’s be more disciplined this Gawai and hopefully we can have a normal celebration next year if Covid-19 is gone. So now we need to sacrifice for the future,” he said. — DayakDaily